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 Monday, March 31, 2003


Chronology of the war on Iraq on day 11

Civilian Casualty Update

A wounded Iraqi girl is treated by U.S. marines in central Iraq. The four-year old girl, blood streaming from an eye wound, was screaming for her dead mother, while her father, shot in a leg, begged to be freed from the plastic wrist cuffs slapped on him by U.S. marines, so he could hug his other terrified daughter.

Iraqi girl with her sister, waiting for her mother


Pain and Anger

The following is a chronology of the MAIN events of the US-led war on Iraq, as the conflict went into its 11th day.

March 20:

-- 0100 GMT: A deadline set by US President George W. Bush for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to flee the country expires

-- 0235 GMT: The United States launches war on Iraq with limited air strikes on Baghdad, as Bush promises in a nationwide address a "broad and concerted campaign" to disarm the country

March 21:

-- The United States launches 1,000 cruise missiles and 1,000 air strike late night sorties on hundreds of targets in Baghdad and elsewhere

-- Eight British and four US troops become the first known casualties on the coalition side when a helicopter crashes in Kuwait

-- Turkey opens its airspace to US warplanes bound for Iraq after rejecting US request to deploy 62,000 soldiers

March 22:

Map of Iraq

-- US troops meet stiff resistance around the key port of Umm Qasr and in Nasiriyah, a key crossing point over the Euphrates River, farther to the north

-- An Australian cameraman is killed in a suicide car bombing in northern Iraq, and a British television reporter dies in shooting in the south

March 23:

-- Iraqi television shows pictures said to be of dead US soldiers and five captured US troops

-- US air raids pound Baghdad, the northern city of Mosul and positions held by an alleged al-Qaeda-linked Kurdish Islamist group

-- US officials say a US Patriot missile brought down a British RAF Tornado fighter plane in Iraq in a friendly fire incident

-- A US soldier is detained after a grenade attack that killed one US soldier and wounded 12 in northern Kuwait

March 24:

-- Iraq shoots down two US Apache helicopters

-- US commander General Tommy Franks says coalition forces are holding 3,000 prisoners

-- Iraq's northern oil capital of Kirkuk is rocked by 24 hours of almost non-stop bombardment

March 25:

-- British and US forces report gains in their advance on Baghdad and have taken control of Umm Qasr

-- A sandstorm brings hundreds of US and British tanks and amphibious assault vehicles to a complete halt

-- Violent bombing on the outskirts of Baghdad rocks the capital amid reports that advancing US-British troops are within 100 kilometres (60 miles)

-- Bush asks the US Congress to approve a package of 74.7 billion dollars to finance the war and protect the United States from future terrorist attacks.

-- A US Patriot battery shoots down a British Tornado warplane by mistake, killing its two pilots.

March 26:

-- Iraq says 14 Iraqis are killed when missiles hit a residential and market area in Baghdad.

-- US troops kill 1,000 Iraqis in 72 hours in the Najaf region, a US officer says, but this is denied by Iraq

-- Iraqi tanks make a surprise breakout of the besieged southern city of Basra but are destroyed by heavy bombardment, British officers say

-- US-led forces bombard the state television building in Baghdad, taking main TV channels briefly off the air

-- The Red Crescent distributes aid in southern Safwan

March 27:

-- Baghdad comes under early morning bombardment as the war enters its second week

-- Iraq says more than 350 civilians were killed in the first week

-- 1,000 US paratroopers parachute into the mountainous Kurdish-held north

-- Mines discovered in the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr delay the first shipment of British aid

-- Bush and Blair hold a summit, predicting certain victory while warning that the conflict could drag on.

-- The United Nations Security Council reaches agreement on a draft resolution that would reactivate the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq

-- The United States has poured 90,000 troops into Iraq and is readying a further 120,000 for deployment from US and European bases, Pentagon officials say

-- Washington says 28 US servicemen have been killed during the first week. Of those, 22 suffered "hostile deaths" while four were killed in accidents and two in a grenade attack by a GI in Kuwait

March 28:

-- At least 30 people are killed in an air strike on a busy market in Baghdad, Iraqi officials say, in a day of furious air attacks from US-led forces

-- A British ship carrying tonnes of urgently needed humanitarian aid puts into the captured southern port of Umm Qasr, in the first major aid shipment to reach the country

-- Hundreds of Iraqi families flee the besieged city of Basra

-- The UN Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution allowing resumption of its "oil-for-food" programme for Iraq and the UN calls for 2.2 billion dollars to provide immediate humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people

March 29:

-- Intense air attacks strike Baghdad and its outskirts, including the information ministry building. Information Minister Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf says 62 people have been killed since Friday night in US-led air raids

-- A suicide car bombing kills four US soldiers in central Iraq, bringing the total US death toll since the war began to 34

-- Kuwait City is hit by an Iraqi missile, causing extensive damage to a seaside shopping mall

-- Coalition forces destroy a building hosting a meeting of some 200 members of Iraq's ruling Baath party in the Basra region, a US general says

-- Iraqi troops abandon frontlines near a Kurdish rebel-held town and move back towards the northern oil capital of Kirkuk

-- Iraq rejects the UN's "oil-for-food" resolution, which gives UN chief Kofi Annan 45 days to make purchases of food and medicine using income from UN-supervised Iraqi oil exports

March 30:

-- Iraq promises more suicide attacks against US and British soldiers, saying thousands more are prepared to die

-- US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld seeks to deflect a growing chorus of criticism of the US-led action but warns that "the most dangerous and difficult days are still ahead of us"

-- Hundreds of thousands of anti-war protesters march in Muslim Pakistan and Indonesia

-- Heavy bombardment of Baghdad

-- British PM Tony Blair says Iraq's oil revenue will be placed in a UN-supervised account

-- Iraq claims to have shot down a Harrier fighter and an Apache attack helicopter. US Central Command issues denial


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